Business Opportunities in India
FIGHTER Energy Drink introduced new variants
M. A. Winter
Date of posting: 15-02-09
      The Indian market for energy drinks is in the focus of various companies. Dominated so far by Red Bull from Austria, other brands have been introduced already, one of them being “Fighter”. FII spoke to Saby Sabarwal, Director of V. K. G. Management Services (P) Ltd. (VKG), the company which is importing Fighter, about their new marketing strategy.

      In 2008, the drink had been introduced in the market in the usual 250 ml can with a label showing a jumping tiger on a red background. Several months later, VKG decided to change the label and add new flavors.

      “We do not want to compete against Red Bull”, Sabarwal said. “Instead, we want to extend the categories for energy drinks”, he added and offered to taste a yellow labeled energy drink. “India is a lemon drinking country”, he explained. “Limca, for example, is bigger than Coke and Pepsi together, the people know the lemon taste. So we decided to introduce a lemon flavored energy drink in a yellow labeled can”.

      Besides that, the company has also introduced a sugar free variant for those who have diabetic complaints and/or overweight. This drink comes in a pink labeled can. Sabarwal demonstrated how this drink looks like if filled into a wine glass. “Ladies will like the sugar free drink, as it looks like a rosé wine. If they consume it, other guests in a restaurant or discotheque won’t know that it is not wine, but an energy drink”. The old standard energy drink comes now in a grey colored can.

      In the retail markets, the drink is sold for a price of Rs 75. The drink is imported from Korea and the Netherlands. “For the Korea imports, we calculate in USD, for the EU-imports, in Euro.” For Sabarwal, this is an advantage, as this would allow flexibility in matters of cost calculation with different exchange rates.

      VKG is using its Indian base not only for the marketing of the Fighter in India itself, but is working already on exports markets like the Gulf states and Africa. “We recently sold already 8 million cans to South Africa”, Sabarwal informed about their success in export marketing.

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